JUDAS PRIEST singer Rob Halford — who revealed he was homosexual during a 1998 appearance on MTV — has slammed as “childish” the newly adopted legislation calling for a “Heterosexual Pride Day” to be celebrated on the third Sunday of each December in São Paulo, Brazil.
The proposal now rests in the hands of São Paulo mayor Gilberto Kassab, who must sign the legislation for it to become law.
In late June, the Washington Post reported that evangelical leaders in São Paulo were pushing a “Heterosexual Pride Day” after being unable to rid the city of its “Gay Pride” parade.
The legislation’s author, Carlos Apolinário, said the idea for a ‘Heterosexual Pride Day’ is “not anti-gay but a protest against the privileges the gay community enjoys.”
“I respect gays and I am against any kind of aggression made against them,” Apolinário said, according to the Associated Press. “I have no trouble coexisting with gays as long as their behavior is normal.”
The Brazilian Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Association criticized the legislation, saying it could provoke homophobic violence.
“How many LGBTs will be attacked because of the message that only heterosexuality makes someone a moral person and a good citizen,” the association said in a statement.
“The celebration of heterosexual pride is inappropriate because it belittles the just cause of the LGBT community,” the statement added. “Unlike homosexuals, heterosexuals are not discriminated against simply for being heterosexuals.”
Speaking to Brazil’s Globo from his hotel room in Barcelona, Halford was astonished to hear the news. “‘Heterosexual Pride Day’? Like the ‘Gay Pride Day’? I think … well … [silence] Brazil has always had a straight-pride parade — it’s called the Carnival, right?”
He continued, “[Gays] are a minority which has been terribly oppressed over the years. We need to have a voice. Once we have the same rights as heterosexuals have, we may no longer need a gay parade. But it is a party, that’s all. It is no different than going to a metal show where everybody gets together and celebrates.”
Halford added that, in his opinion, creating a “Heterosexual Pride Day” is a “childish” idea.
When asked in a December 2009 interview with the Dallas Voice if he has a particularly gay audience, Halford said, “I have my gay metalhead fans all over the world. Sometimes they are so obvious from stage but it’s still a wonderful surprise.”
Regarding how it has been since he came out more than 10 years ago, Halford said, “It gives me a lot of comfort and it was a weight off my shoulders. There is a lot of phobia in metal music, but me coming out chips away at that wall, bit by bit. It just crossed my mind that I had no negative feedback. Fans were cool, and that speaks volumes for the better world we’re in. We have come forward by leaps and bounds.”